Do you know the REAL reason for the season?

It’s a popular tag line this time of year, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” It falls in line with another I see on billboards around the city I live in, “Keep Christ in Christmas.” These are some of the ways we try to remind the world about Jesus at the time when so many other messages distract them from the message of Jesus’ coming.

Unfortunately, it comes across as a bunch of hokey semantics and religious nuttiness. And I don’t if you’ve heard, but a lot of people are allergic to nuts.

According to Google, a cliche is “a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.” Do you think these apply?

After all, even Christians get tired of hearing these things. But it also betrays how little we understand about the coming of God’s Son. Jesus is not the reason for the season. We are.

Continue reading “Do you know the REAL reason for the season?”

The Guiding Glory (Podcast)

Part 3. On the night of Jesus’ birth, God’s glory didn’t only appear in the stable or on the hillside near Bethlehem. It tore a hole in the fabric of the universe. When it was seen by those who noticed such things, it shook their world and drew them to Someone greater than anyone or anything they had ever known.

Their guide to this glorious King was a shining star. It revealed a uniqueness about this King, and they had to find Him. But when the stopped allowing the glory to lead them, not only did they get sidetracked, but disaster followed. And they almost missed it all.

http://www.audiomack.com/embed4/chrismackinnon/the-guiding-glory

(If you do not see the audio player, CLICK HERE to view the full post.)

What Would You Ask For This Christmas?

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”80%” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]My good friend, Kevin Senapatiratne, travels around North America encouraging Christians in prayer through his ministry Christ Connection and books like Enjoying Prayer and his revised edition of Charles Finney’s Lectures on Revival. I shared this guest post on his blog this week. [/dropshadowbox]

 

Christmas is a season filled with every kind of emotion. It contains some of the greatest highlights of the year, while there are those who find it bothersome, a lot of work, and even discouraging.

Jesus came to share God’s gifts of love, joy, hope, peace, and good news. We celebrate and have incredibly happy moments with family and friends. But there are times when all we feel are the burdens, worries, and stresses of the season.

One of the craziest elements about Christmas is presents. Gift giving can be extreme stressful, even though it is often born out of love. “What will we get them? How much should we spend? Which style should I wrap it in? Will they even like?” I wonder how much the Wise Men worried over the gifts they brought to the newborn King.

It can also be hard to receive gifts. To make things easier, we prefer to ask for certain things. It’s better to nudge towards something we’d really enjoy than be ungrateful for the gift from a friend or loved one. What if we took the time to ask God for gifts in our lives?

Continue reading at www.ChristConnection.com 

Encouragement When God Feels Far Away

Christmas is a special time of year. There are all of the “regular” things we do at Christmas. We bake cookies, decorate trees and homes, visit with family, and have huge dinners. Alongside those are the “churchy” things we use to celebrate the season. We sing Carols, light candles, put on Christmas pageants and plan Christmas Eve services. Chances are there are still more dinners to attend.

We take this season to celebrate, not all of the things, but Jesus. It’s one of two big days every year we make an extra effort to put Jesus at the forefront of everything. And we even have a measure of permission to do it.

Most of us are used to celebrating Christmas in one form or another every year. We expect it to come. Many of us are also familiar with the Scriptures detailing the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. It would be hard to forget for some. But when Christ came, God’s people were in the middle of wondering if God would ever speak to them again.

Continue reading “Encouragement When God Feels Far Away”

A Glorious Interruption (Podcast)

Part 2. On the night of Jesus’ birth, the angel could have made the announcement to anyone in Bethlehem. Yet God sent him to interrupt the otherwise ordinary evening of some dirty, smelly Shepherds out in the fields. What made them so worthy of the message and the glory of Heaven?

We should find ourselves constantly amazed at the glory of God, but our lives don’t tend to allow us to see it. God interrupts our lives to get our attention. The interruption of the angel was the result of one simple truth in the lives of the Shepherds. Without it, few would have marked the birth of the Messiah.

http://www.audiomack.com/embed4/chrismackinnon/a-glorious-interruption

(If you do not see the audio player, CLICK HERE to view the full post.)